In the wake of Valentijn Overeem’s mildly disappointing injury withdrawal over the weekend, we racked our brains trying to come up with logical heavyweight replacements to face Antonio Silva. Strikeforce, however, took the opposite approach — drafting one of their light-heavyweights and hoping for the best. The promotion confirmed today that reformed bad boy Mike Kyle would be facing Bigfoot on the televised portion of this Saturday’s "Henderson vs. Babalu" card. Huh. That’s an odd one.
To be fair, Kyle has competed at light-heavyweight and heavyweight throughout his career, and has gone 5-0 with 1 no-contest in his last six fights. But his record — especially under the Strikeforce banner, where he’s never won as a heavyweight — suggests that he’s best suited for 205. Competing at light-heavy last year, he scored an upset TKO over current champ Rafael Cavalcante, and made another LHW appearance in July, choking out Abongo Humphrey. The last time Kyle competed for Strikeforce as a heavyweight, he was quickly choked out by Fabricio Werdum.
With a hole in their main card, Strikeforce needs Kyle to step up, which he will because he’s a moneyweight ’til he dies. Only this time, he’ll be at a noticeable size disadvantage against the hulking Antonio Silva. More importantly, a high-profile loss might devalue Kyle as a resurgent contender. Shouldn’t Strikeforce be building Kyle up toward a light-heavyweight title rematch against the guy he already beat, rather than sacrificing him as a late replacement for a heavyweight fight that doesn’t really benefit him?